Plan & Pre Book
There are so many different things to do in Amsterdam that it can get a bit overwhelming if you are only there for a few days. As the tourism in the city is quite high, you are going to expect to queue for different attractions. If you are planning on visiting places such as Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and Rijksmuseum Museum then book in advance. You can pre book online which means you will skip all those nasty queues. The iamamsterdam.com website is a great place for tips on what/where/how on all things Amsterdam and you can also book the tickets through to website. There is also something called I Amsterdam City Card which gives you free unlimited travel on public transport for the duration of your stay, a free canal cruise, free city map and free entry to all the major and best attractions. For a full list of attractions and prices of the card to match the duration of your stay please check it out here.
Bikes over Cars
As soon as you step into central Amsterdam you will notice that cars are over run by bicycles. They are everywhere you look, and that includes cycle lanes. If there is one major thing that I have learnt is that you do not walk in the cycle lane. People get very angsty and understandably, I get why. One of the best things to do in Amsterdam is too rent a bike and get lost in the canals.
Amsterdam is the city of cheese, and for me that literally is the best thing. Amsterdam produces and exports millions of tons of Dutch cheese each year.
Gouda is Holland best loved cheese. If are a cheese lover like myself, taking a trip to the Cheese Museum will be perfect for you. There are many shops and taster rooms around the centre of Amsterdam that will fix your cheese cravings such as Henri Willig Cheese and More, Golden Age Cheese Store, and Reypenaer Tasting Room.
Travelling to another country can be daunting when your first language isn’t spoken but in Amsterdam, English is spoken everywhere. For me when travelling to another country, learning little phrases in another language is fun and I just like practising the phrases on the locals.
Amsterdam has more canals and bridges than Venice, 165 canals and 1281 bridges to be exact. Strolling over the bridges at night with all the pretty light is just perfect.
as the same with any other destination, Amsterdam does have its fair share of pick Pockets, make sure you’re bags are secure and with you at all times.
Sex, Drugs & Prostitution
Before I went to Amsterdam the most famous and intriguing thing for me was the Red Light District. From brothels to sex shows, everything you probably heard about this neighbourhood is true and I would definitely recommend checking it out for yourselves.
One thing to remember when visiting the RLD is photographing the female entertainers is strictly banned.
Coffee Shops & Cafes
although to me a Coffee shop and a cafe is the same thing here in Wales, in Amsterdam they are completely different. If you want to to smoke some legal marijuana or eat some delicious space cakes then you want to go to a coffee shop. There are many around, I would recommend staying away from the chain shops and the ones in the built up tourist spots as they can get very busy and they over charge you. There are some great ones, such as BasJoe, Green House, and also Prix D’ami.
Majority of places in Amsterdam don’t accept cards, so cash must be carried around with at all times. The currency in Amsterdam is Euros and there are many places where you can exchange your local currency.
drinking alcohol whilst standing on the streets of Amsterdam is illegal. If you want to stand a drink, you will have to be inside a pub/cafe. If you would like to smoke whilst in the pub/cafe you will have to go outside, but remember don’t take our glass if you have alcohol in it.
I hope everyone enjoys this post about the things I learnt the first time I visited Holland and will not forget when I return.
My next trip to Amsterdam is in 3 days’ time, and I have planned a lot more things to do this time so watch this space.